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Wake up “boiling frogs”: a study on animal husbandry under climate change in Northern China

  • Lijuan Miao
  • Zhanli Sun
  • Xuefeng Cui
  • Justin Veuthey
Original Article
  • 54 Downloads

Abstract

The development of animal husbandry in China is facing enormous pressure from increasing demand of meat consumption, climate change, degrading grassland, and changing national policies. This paper presents the latest findings from an anthropological field investigation interviewing local herders, traders, and local officials from farming–pastoral ecotone in Inner Mongolia and shed lights on how locals have adapted their lives to climate change and the new national husbandry policies of the twenty-first century. Based on the anthropological interviews, we discussed the future opportunities and challenges of animal husbandry development in farming–pastoral ecotone. Results suggested that national ecological conservation policies and meat price have much larger impacts on animal husbandry than climate change, as perceived by locals. Family Fencing Policy, a relatively new policy aiming to avoid overgrazing and restore vegetation, was neither well accepted nor well implemented by the local herders. This is partially explained by the poor fencing technology, insufficient support facilities, as well as the high costs and low-profit margins in the animal husbandry. We conclude by suggesting that pastoralism in Northern China may greatly benefit from the development of rural cooperatives and active participation of locals in policy designing and implementation.

Keywords

Pastoralism Adaptation Climate change Policy analysis Inner Mongolia China 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The work was financially supported by the Key Project of National Social and Scientific Fund Program (16ZDA047), National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0504301), the European Union’s framework programme of research and innovation horizon 2020 (2014–2020) under the Marie Skłodowska Curie Agreement (795179), Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Startup Foundation for Introducing Talents of Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (2243141601048), National Basic Research Development Program of China (2015CB953602, 2016YFA0602500), and the National Science Foundation of China (91637104, 41661144006).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geographical SciencesNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Structural Development of Farms and Rural AreasLeibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO)HalleGermany
  3. 3.School of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity College DublinDublinIreland
  4. 4.School of Systems ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  5. 5.School of Humanitarian StudiesRoyal Roads UniversityVictoriaCanada

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